Financial matters

The average cost of living is relatively high in the Netherlands. Please note that in order to get a visa or residence permit, you must prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses.

Cost of living

It is difficult to predict what budget you need, as this very much depends on your spending habits and lifestyle. As a rough estimate, you need at least 12,000 euro a year. Apart from rent, which can be particularly high in Utrecht, your main expenses will be food and insurance.

Citizen Service Number

It is important that you have a Dutch Citizen Service Number (in Dutch: Burgerservicenummer: BSN) prior to your first salary payment. As long as you do not have a BSN, UU must apply a higher tax rate to your salary payment (the so-called anonymity rate). This means you will have less net pay left over. Once you receive your BSN, any excess payroll tax withheld will be refunded.

International Service Desk  will make an appointment for you at Gemeente Utrecht, to apply for a BSN. This must be a physical appointment. Please inform ISD as soon as possible when you are coming to the Netherlands.

If you have any questions about this implementation, please contact your local HR-department.

Health Insurance

Everyone living in the Netherlands is required by law to obtain adequate health insurance. The required type of health insurance depends on several factors, such as whether or not you receive an income from Utrecht University. Please check Euraxess for useful information about health insurance.

UU offers collective health insurance plans (Ohra and Zilveren Kruis). It is your own choice whether you want to participate in one of these or another one. More information about the collective health insurance plans can be found on the intranet.

You can also ask your Faculty contact person for help; he/she may be able to advise you.

Liability insurance

You are advised to take out a liability (or private third-party) insurance. If you cause physical or material damage to others, you may be held liable for the damage. The liability insurance covers this risk in private situations. It also covers any damage caused by your pets or any (im)movable goods belonging to you. If you have taken out family liability insurance, any damage caused to others by your partner or children will also be covered. 

In the Netherlands, it is also possible to take out a liability motor insurance. This is different from the above-mentioned private liability insurance. It does not cover any liability regarding motor vehicles. If you possess a motor vehicle in the Netherlands, you are obliged to take this insurance. Insurance companies such as OHRA will be able to provide you with both the private third-party insurance and the third-party motor insurance.

Other Insurances

In addition to health and private liability insurance, you may also want to take out other insurances. Read more about insurances at OHRA (site is in Dutch) and Zilveren Kruis Achmea

More information

Read more detailed information about the cost of living and finances on Euraxess. More information about insurances can be found at Working at Utrecht University.

Grants and scholarships

Collaboration with international universities is fundamental to excellent teaching and research. Utrecht University works with renowned universities around the world.

Utrecht University Partners (UUPs)

Additional funding is available for specific activities in joint cooperation with these international strategic partner universities, the Utrecht University Partners (UUPs). Read more about Open Calls for Travel Grants, UUPs and Short Stay Fellowships for PhD candidates and visiting Professors on the research pages.

Faculty Research Support Offices

Contact your host Faculty Research Support Office for more information about specific grants.

External scholarships

There are numerous ways to obtain an external scholarship. Below you will find some useful links:

Prospective PhD candidates can find more information on the PhD website.